Have you resigned yourself to living with the pain and discomfort of hammertoes? In many cases, you can relieve your hammertoe symptoms by making smart footwear choices and taking advantage of products that will increase your comfort. The podiatrists at Podiatry Foot and Ankle Institute in Montvale and Hackensack, NJ share information about this common condition and explain treatment options.
Hammer toes occur when one or more of your toes bend downward. If you don't take steps to address the problem, your toes can become permanently locked in this position. Hammertoes usually affect the second through fourth toes and can occur if you wear tight shoes that don't provide enough room for your toes to lay flat against the insole. Not surprisingly, women are more likely to develop hammertoes than men.
You may be at increased risk of developing the problem if you have arthritis or diabetes, recently broke or stubbed your toe, or your second toe is longer than your big toe. Your hammertoe risk rises as you age.
Managing hammertoe symptoms
Making a few changes to the shoes you wear can ease pain and inflammation. Look for comfortable shoes that provide plenty of room for your toes, and avoid wearing high heels. Keep in mind that your shoes should be 1/2" longer than your longest toe for the most comfortable fit. Other ways to manage hammertoe symptoms include:
Toe Exercises: Toe exercises can be very helpful if your toe is still in the flexible stage and the tendon hasn't tightened. Your foot doctor can teach you a series of exercises that will stretch and strengthen the muscles.
Padding: Cushioning your toes with corn pads can help relieve pressure when you wear shoes.
Orthotics: These custom-made shoe inserts are prescribed by your Montvale and Hackensack podiatrist. They evaluate the structure of your foot and gait and designs the orthotics to address your problem.
Surgery: Although most people who have hammertoes will never need surgery, it may be the best option in some severe cases.
Help is available for your hammertoes. Call the podiatrists at Podiatry Foot and Ankle Institute in Montvale and Hackensack, NJ to schedule an appointment to learn about the best treatment options for you.